FAQ – How Long to Smoke a Brisket

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Q: Sir, Do you have a best guess on how long a 8-10 lbs brisket at 200-225 will take to get done. I was thinking about 1 hour per pound. Is this close. thank you!

A: You can usually figure about 1.5 hours per pound at 225 degrees for brisket, pork shoulder and other larger pieces of meat.

Several things can affect this time such as actual meat thickness, wind, temperature and how often you open the door of the smoker. I smoked a 9 pound brisket a few weeks back on a cold, windy night and it took 20 hours to complete.

If you have a fairly calm day with mild temperatures and you can maintain at least 225 degrees and only open the door when you absolutely have to mop or check the temp on the brisket then you should be able to guesstimate about 13.5 to 15 hours.

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  1. Hopefully someone can assist me with this. I purchased a BEAUTIFUL 19 lb Brisket to smoke for a surprise bday party for my cousin. I then realized I need to cut in half to make it fit. I wanted to smoke it at 225. Do I still cook it for the same amount of time as it was whole or do I change the time and what do you suggest for time? 12-16 hours?

  2. The guy that teaches how to use Traeger smokers talks about putting the fat up, and fat down…and the reasons for doing so. Also how to trim the meat, etc. His name is Matt Pittman (or is that just a joke?) Look him up on YouTube and you’ll learn a LOT

  3. I have put fat up and down and do not see a difference. I have a WSM 18.5 inch and find the fat cap down stops the direct heat under drying out the brisket. Mopping regularly also helps and of course wrapping at a certain temp also aids in getting a moist, tender brisket.

  4. I have a 13-lb brisket, which is too large for my electric smoker. Whole, it should cook for 20 hours. I’m going to have to cut in it half. Cooking the two halves together, would my cooking time be halved (9 hours), or what would it be?
    Bigger question — will cutting brisket in half render a tough, dry brisket?

    1. I did a 12 pounder last week and cut it in half turned out great I put it on at 4 AM by 5 PM it wasn’t ready I had also put ribs in so I finished it off in the oven to be ready by 6 I also inject mine and wrap at 150 With that said it won’t cut the time in half so start early enough you can always put it in an ice chest wrap up in towels if it is ready to early it will stay hot for hours but pull at at 190 if you do cause it will still cook

  5. i never smoked a brisket before and i have 2 little brisket maybe about 2 pounds each i wanted to start off small before i get a big piece of brisket so how long should i smoke them for thanks

        1. This is a very personal thing.. I cook both ways and have for decades and can’t really tell much difference but that can also depend on your smoker and how the heat moves through it.